Archive for the ‘Vancouver Whitecaps’ Category

VANCOUVER, B.C –  Please visit Daily Hive for my story on Whitecaps FC’s Ali Adnan who spent his offseason in Iraq giving back to his community.

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VANCOUVER, B.C – Please visit Pro Soccer USA for my story on Whitecaps FC striker Fredy Montero.

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Vancouver Whitecaps FC training at UBC on Monday, January 20, 2020. Photo: Har Journalist

VANCOUVER, B.C – Excitement and optimism was abound as Vancouver Whitecaps FC had their first on field training session of the season. There is a buzz and an enormous feeling of positivity around the club that finished last in the western conference last season.

The addition of Liga-MX striker, Lucas Cavallini has given the club a massive offensive threat. Cavallini brings a confident swagger about himself that shows that he’s determined, eager, ready to lead the team up top this season.

“Everybody has a positive mentality this year,” Cavallini told reporters following training. “A lot of new faces, everybody trying to get the best out of this club. A positive vibe. We need to improve a lot from last season. It’s a fresh new start and today was a good day.”

Russell Teibert is the longest tenured Whitecaps FC player. The 27-year-old still remembers when the team had to use the Simon Fraser University wrestling teams’ locker room. Now in his 10th season, Teibert and Whitecaps FC have both come a long way. The Niagara Falls native still feels the joy and happiness associated with a new campaign.

“There’s a lot of new faces, yeah,” Teibert said. “There’s going to be an adjustment period, but the biggest thing is the positive atmosphere around this club right now and the organization. Everybody is coming in with this new energy. It’s a real pleasure to come back to work. You just feel happy being here.”

Teibert and his teammates are not looking back on an underwhelming season that was the 2019 campaign. An 8-16-10 record with a goal differential of -22 was shocking to say the least. The 2020 Whitecaps are looking to the future. The team wants no part of re-hashing what went wrong last season. 2019 is in the past and that’s where they want it.

“We don’t want to look too much in the rearview mirror,” Teibert explained. “We want to look through the windshield. 2019 was 2019, but this is 2020. It’s a brand new year and everybody is looking forward.”

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Vancouver Whitecaps FC’s Ali Adnan (Left) and Andy Rose (Right) on Monday, January 20, 2020. Photo: Har Journalist

It’s not just the players who are moving forward. The organization as a whole wants to move in a new direction. The hiring of Sporting Director, Axel Schuster, and CEO Mark Pannes signals a new chapter for a club looking to make big moves.

The start of a new preseason offers a new beginning for Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

“Finally we can close the chapter on 2019,” Schuster said. “I don’t want to speak about that again. From today on, it’s 2020. There’s a lot of work in front of us and we start today.”

The work for Schuster and Coach Marc Dos Santos will continue as Vancouver looks to add to their roster.

Without making any promises, Schuster could see the club adding one more player before the team departs to San Diego, California on Friday, January 24.

“More optimistic today,” Schuster explained to Har Journalist. “Still no promise because it depends on signature from the other side. I’m more optimistic today.”

“We are missing a few players signed,” Schuster added. “They’re still coming. I expect three to four more faces at the home opener.”

One of those new faces is expected to be centre-back, Érik Godoy. Whitecaps FC would like to complete the transfer of the Argentine defender sooner rather than later. At the minute, the hold up seems to be on the part of his previous holder, Club Atlético Colón.

“It’s only about a signature,” Schuster revealed. “I think there’s no more discussion nothing we can discuss. No more demands from any side. It’s only to get it over the line. We have to wait until the Argentinian club do that. We’re only waiting for them to do that. They never said they wouldn’t do it. I don’t have any concerns that they don’t sign.”

Acquiring players is not as easy as flipping on FIFA Ultimate Team and pushing a few buttons. There’s a long gruelling process that has to end with both sides being comfortable enough to put, pen to paper. Whitecaps FC have been linked to several players this off-season, but until a deal is done. You can never assume that it’s done.

“When you want to sign bad players, it happens really fast,” Dos Santos said. “You call, they sign, you’re in, it’s over. Good players, it’s a harder process. You get to the ninety-nine percent in two days and then it takes two days to get that extra percent. That last percent is hard.”

It’s only the first day of preseason, but Whitecaps FC are a happy, positive group that’s preparing to look ahead through the windshield with the 2020 season on the horizon.

 

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VANCOUVER, B.C – Whitecaps FC have been busy this week with a flurry of activity ahead of the start of the pre-season. Players will report for medical testing on Saturday, with the first on field session taking place on Monday, January 20.

A pair of Cristiáns have joined Whitecaps FC on free transfer. Quebec native, Cristián Gutiérrez signed from Chilean Primera División club Colo-Colo, and winger Cristian Dájome has signed from Colombian club Bogotá FC.

“We want to play a 4-3-3, for this system we need wingers,” Sporting Director, Axel Schuster explained to reporters on Friday. “We signed Cava (Lucas Cavallini) at the top, but then we need some guys to feed him, Dájome is one of those that exactly fits to that.”

The signing of 26-year-old Cristian Dájome has been a hot rumour for quite some time. Getting the deal completed and across the line took some time due to extra issues.

“A lot of paper work had to be done,” Schuster said. “It was really easy to find a solution with the guys. They have been convinced that this is the right place. Then it was up to negotiating with the clubs, finding solutions, and getting all the paper work done. That was not that easy.”

“It was already done since one week,” Schuster continued. “Everything was signed. There had been some small issues that we had to be aware of, like paper work and some things.”

Multiple reports suggested that Brazilian club, Corinthians was in hot pursuit of Dájome.

“Yeah, I don’t don’t know if it delayed,” Schuster explained to Har Journalist. “It was for him to make a decision. It’s good for us to know that there was other clubs that also have good names, and have been interested in him.

We were able to convince him that we maybe are the better next step in his career. He wanted to know about the coach, that he speaks Spanish. He wanted to know about the system where his position is really needed. At the end, maybe it delayed a little bit so he had more security that this is the right decision.”

Ali Adnan 

The acquisition of Gutiérrez provides Whitecaps FC with some insurance at the left-back position. Gutiérrez will hopefully be able to bring competition on the left flank. If Ali Adnan needs a rest or is called up for national team duty, Gutiérrez could jump in and make a seamless transition. The 22-year-old brings much needed depth at full-back.

“In the moment maybe Ali (Adnan) leaves the club,” Schuster said unprompted. “You never know in this business. Things can happen very fast. We have Adnan on our books right now. He’s (Cristián Gutiérrez) absolutely fine with being a challenger for one year to compete for that.”

The left-footed, left-back brought an explosive dimension to the Whitecaps FC attack last season. If Adnan is going to move on, Gutiérrez could be a clever underrated signing.

“No, no, no. I was telling… in this business in one year, a lot of things can happen,” Schuster back-tracked. “You never know. We hadn’t had a player behind Ali, now we have a guy who wants to show up, show that if this situation happens at anytime in the future, we have a guy that can play there. He knows he’s a challenger and he will fight for that. We are prepared for the future. You never know what happens in this business.”

Jon Erice 

The Whitecaps FC captain struggled to adapt to MLS life. As a holding midfielder, Erice had some bright moments early in the season. As the summer progressed he looked a step behind. The Spaniards 33-year-old legs found the bench.

“We had an open conversation,” Schuster said. “He wrote us a WhatsApp message as well. There was nothing negative at the end. Of course this was not a very successful year for him. It was not the year he expected it should be. That happens in football. It’s not the first time and it will not be the last time that things do not work out in the way you hope.”

In 21 matches, Erice earned a pair of assists. Erice provided a brief statement this week.

“Thanks to Vancouver Whitecaps FC for giving me the opportunity to be a part of an incredible project that is sure to earn great results in the near future. Thanks to all the employees who are a part of the family and are essential for everything to work daily. Thanks to the city of Vancouver for receiving me so well. Good luck and the greatest success for the future.”

No Promises 

Whitecaps FC could be in the market for another key addition. The possibility of acquiring a box to box midfielder before the end of the month could be in the cards. Vancouver will continue pre-season camp in San Diego on Friday, January 24.

“I cannot promise anything right now,” Schuster revealed. “As ever we try to find the best solution and that’s never the easiest. I’m very optimistic we will have one more signing before we leave to San Diego, but it’s not a promise this time.”

It’s been a slow off-season in terms of on field additions, but Whitecaps FC look to be making moves to bolster their roster ahead of the season. Vancouver will open the season at home on Saturday, February 29 vs Sporting Kansas City.

Notes: Gutierrez will join the first team in time for training on Monday. Dájome will join Whitecaps FC in San Diego.

 

 

 

 

 

VANCOUVER, B.C – Please visit Daily Hive for my story on Vancouver Whitecaps FC CEO Mark Pannes.

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Vancouver Whitecaps CEO Mark Pannes and Co-Owner Jeff Mallett in Vancouver on Tuesday, January 7. Photo: Har Journalist

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VANCOUVER, B.C – Please visit Daily Hive for my report on the Whitecaps third party independent review conducted by Sport Law & Strategy Group.

https://bit.ly/2PCdlzv

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VANCOUVER, B.C – Please visit Equalizer Soccer for my story on the Whitecaps third party independent report released by Sport Law & Strategy Group today.

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